By Helen Callier
July 5th, 2021
Have you submitted a perfect construction permit set before to a jurisdiction and it goes through every departmental review racking up every imaginable rejection comment? You scratch your head, begin to fume, and next release a mouth-full of complaints to the City Plan Reviewers and then worry how much delays in permitting will cost you.
With the increase in lumber prices, pressures from the lingering 2020 pandemic, long lead items, and unusually longer plan review times at jurisdictions in parts of Texas, California, and many other areas in the US., some contractors’ frustrations are running high. The PermitUsNow team hears the stories from small to mid-size to large contractors juggling to start a construction project on time and wrap up timely.
Here’s what I know from a couple of experiences and from listening to lots of contractors’ horror stories is that repeatedly hurling complaints at your City’s Permitting Center is not the best course of action in obtaining a building permit in a timely manner. Be firm, yes. Complain every time receive a City rejection or delay in permitting, I suggest that you avoid doing so for the following 5 reasons.
- Reason to avoid complaining No. 1: It takes you off your course versus being focused on finding ways to address any City comments and pull permit asap.
- Reason to avoid complaining No. 2: It creates a crap magnet attracting other negative energy that can derail your project in some manner like lost or stolen tools, delay in customer payments, and many other ways.
- Reason to avoid complaining No. 3: Turns off others. The truth is mostly everyone going to work shows up wanting to have a positive experience and when something or someone goes against this basic desire, people like Plan Reviewer will shut down and are slow to respond.
- Reason to avoid complaining No. 4: Triggers other rejection comments. After hearing a barrage of complaints some Plan Reviewers will then go line by line, letter by letter in the notes making sure everything meets building codes. This magnifying glass approach usually causes more rejection comments including very minor ones.
- Reason to avoid complaining No. 5: Eventually no one listens to a contractor that whines and complains all the time about City Permitting Center.
In addition to the above 5 reasons, steady complaining can adversely affect your physical health, impact the morale of your employees, and signal to the marketplace a different message than you may want to be conveying.
Industry statistics from Home Builders Associations to the Dodge Report note that permitting delays are a problem in many markets in the U.S.; and it is beneficial for Contractors to be proactive and have a solid plan when pulling permits in order to minimize delays.
The 2020 pandemic flipped the way Permitting Centers work. From making an appointment to get inside the Permitting Center to fully online submissions to same-day permits now taking 3 to 5 days to many City staffers still working at home. Contractors’ goal was simple: continue working as construction projects kept moving forward in housing, aviation, transportation, mixed-use, and with many commercial projects. And I have to say, it is this kind of determination that keeps me writing articles with unique and helpful tips for contractors to be heads up when pulling permits. #BuildSafe and call 1.844.PERMIT.4 as the PermitUsNow team welcomes the opportunity to speak with you about your permitting needs.